MK:U International Design Competition


Sponsor: Milton Keynes Council (MKC) with Cranfield University, U.K.
Type: Invited, RfQ
Fee: none
Language: English
Eligibility: International, licensed architects
Process: Shortlist to create an overall masterplan for the site as well as concept designs. There will be a stage two honorarium of £30,000 for each of five teams
6 March 2019 – Deadline for EOI responses

Competition administrator: Malcolm Reading Consultants
Design challenge:
Beloved by architects as the most original and successful of the mid-twentieth century’s wave of ‘New Towns’, and famously ‘different by design’, Milton Keynes (MK) has successfully reinvented itself as a ‘Smart City’ and is a key contributor to the United Kingdom’s knowledge economy. This success has highlighted the need for a university — MK is the largest urban area in the UK without its own university — and to resolve this, MKC and Cranfield University, a global leader for postgraduate education and transformational research in technology and management, joined forces last year.

Their intention is to transform thinking about higher education and create a new exemplar that is open, accessible, dynamic, technologically-focused, innovative, diverse, business-oriented and entrepreneurial.

MK:U will go beyond the scope of a traditional university, using its own University Quarter and the wider city as a ‘living lab’ to test out new concepts and ideas, and inspire MK’s students and citizens.

MK:U is one of the flagship projects of the MK Futures 2050 programme, which supports MKC’s ambition to create a city of opportunity for all. It is expected to open to its first students — undergraduates, returners and mature learners — by 2023. All three phases are due to complete within 15 years, when the university will serve 15,000 students.

Full details of the competition, including the Search Statement and how to enter, can be found online: